United States Patent and Trademark Office
Federal Administrative Patent Judge

Silicon Valley Office, San Jose, CA.
February 2013 - March 2018

In rotating 3-member appellate panels, authored over 400 appellate decisions and participated as a panel member on more than 800 appellate decisions involving patentability under U.S. patent law.

Law Office of Thomas F. Smegal

San Francisco, CA.
January 2006 - February 2013

Served as an arbitrator, mediator, special master, or testifying expert in intellectual property law matters (primarily patent law matters).

Knobbe, Martens, Olson and Bear

San Francisco, CA.
January 1998 - December 2005

Created the Northern California (San Francisco) Office of a prestigious Orange County patent law firm and engaged in all phases of patent law.

Graham and James

San Francisco, CA.
January 1992 - December 1997

Chaired the Intellectual Property Law Group of this large general civil law firm while working in all phases of patent law.

Townsend and Townsend
Partner and Managing Partner

San Francisco, CA.
September 1968 - December 1991

Managing Partner of the firm for 15 years (1974-1989) while engaging in all phases of patent law.


San Francisco, CA.
September 1965 - September 1968

Specialized in the preparation and prosecution of U.S. and foreign patent applications.

Shell Development Company
Patent Counsel

Emeryville, CA.
October 1962 - September 1965

Prepared and prosecuted U.S. patent applications.

United States Army Chemical Corps

Fort McClellan, Alabama
April 1961 - October 1962

United States Patent and Trademark Office
Patent Examiner

Washington, D.C.
August 1957 - April 1961


George Washington University Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1961.

Michigan Technological University, B.S. in chemical engineering, 1957. Tau Beta Pi Engineering Society.

  • Lecturer on Intellectual Property Law, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College, 1997-2005.
  • Faculty Member, Academy of American and International Law, The Southwestern Legal Foundation, Dallas, Texas, 1989-1996.
  • Lecturer on Patent Litigation in U.S. Federal Courts on behalf of the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to the Chinese People’s Court Judges, Beijing, China, December 1986.
  • Lecturer, Practicing Law Institute.
  • Commentary Contributor, National Law Journal.
  • J. William Fulbright Distinguished Public Service Award from George Washington University Law School in 2017, joining several U.S Senators and Federal Court Judges who had been past recipients.
  • Alumnus of the Year by George Washington University Law School in 1995.
  • Inductee, Academy of the Department of Chemical Engineering, Michigan Technological University, 1995.
  • Arthur Von Breson Award from the National Legal Aid and Defender Association in 1987, in recognition of his life-long dedication to delivering legal services to the indigent.
  • St. Thomas MORE Award from the St. Thomas MORE Society of San Francisco in 1982.